Snow in Edmonton!

Snow falling in Edmonton, AB, 19 Sept 2017 (Dearing)


The northernmost city in North America with over one million residents had 5 cm of snow today. 

Edmonton had a winter-like day during the final days of summer when a cold rain turned white making highways slippery. 

Alberta weather can be highly variable given that on 07 September, the provincial capital climbed to 32.8 C – the warmest temperature so far this year. 

Environment Canada says the cold and snow will be short-lived with sunshine and daytime highs climbing to 16 C by the weekend. 

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Heat warnings issued in the West

Heat west

Weather watches, warnings, statements re: heat and thunderstorms, 08 July 2017 (Environment Canada)

A strong ridge of high pressure over Western Canada has pushed the thermometer into record high territory for British Columbia and Alberta.

On 07 July, dozens of communities set new maximum temperatures with the highest at 39.4 C in Warfield and 38.3 C in Nelson but the hot spot in Canada was Garden River in northern Alberta at 40.3 C.

The major cities were warm too with Calgary reaching 33 C and Edmonton 30 C.

Heat warnings have been issued for most of Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan where temperatures will be near 29 C or higher for the next few days and residents are urged to take precautions.

Warm in west, chilly in east

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Barren trees in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 05 Nov 2016 (Dearing)


Most trees have now lost their leaves in Greater Moncton – with oak trees being the exception – and the starkness of November is settling in.

The thermometer dipped to a frosty -3.1 C yesterday morning which was the coldest low so far this fall and a chilly high of only 4.5 C.

It’s a different story in the Prairies and northwestern Ontario with record breaking warm temperatures climbing near 20 C which is well above normal.

Edmonton climbed to 20.6 C on Friday which was the warmest high ever for a November day in the Alberta capital.

Wildfires grow in northern Alberta

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RCMP officer in burned neighbourhood of Fort McMurray, 05 May 2016 (Alberta RCMP)


Apart from RCMP officers on patrol, the city of Fort McMurray remains a ghost town after wildfires forced almost 90,000 residents to evacuate.

Thousands who fled north to oil sands camps found themselves stranded since Highway 63 is the only route south.

RCMP are leading vehicles in convoys heading south through empty and burned out areas of Fort McMurray to evacuation centres as far south as Edmonton.

Wildfires have grown to cover 1000 square kilometres of northern Alberta and officials say only rain and cooler conditions will help temper the flames.

Wildfire engulfs Fort McMurray

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RCMP among few left in Fort McMurray enforcing evacuation, 04 May 2016 (RCMP/Twitter)

About 1,600 buildings have burned to the ground in Fort McMurray as a wildfire engulfed the southwest portion of the city late yesterday.

Alberta has declared a state of emergency as the government confirms many homes in the Beacon Hill and Waterways neighbourhoods have been destroyed.

The wildfire cut the city in two forcing 10,000 people to evacuate north to oil sands camps and at least 80,000 had to head south.

Traffic became gridlocked on Highway 63 as dozens of drivers abandoned their vehicles after breaking down or running out of gas.

Heading further south to Edmonton, drivers faced a slow, tense trip with bumper-to-bumper traffic and long lineups at the few gas stations available.

The military has been called in to help firefighters and hundreds of additional RCMP officers are being deployed to the region.

Wildfire forces evacuation of Fort McMurray

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Wildfire closes in on Fort McMurray, AB neighbourhood, 03 May 2016 (Facebook)

The largest mandatory evacuation in the history of Alberta is underway as more than 80,000 people flee Fort McMurray due to a raging wildfire.

The forest has been tinder-dry and weather has not been cooperating for firefighters either with strong winds, soaring temperatures and low humidity.

The fire had entered the city limits by mid-afternoon and social media reports say homes, a trailer park and a hotel were engulfed in flames.

The airport remains open and officials say the city’s only hospital has been successfully evacuated.

Residents are being told to head north to the oil sands camps or Highway 63 south with evacuation centres on the way to Edmonton.

Summer of 2013 so far…

Dickson Falls, Fundy National Park, 21 July 2013 (Dearing)

Dickson Falls, Fundy National Park, 21 July 2013 (Dearing)

We are now about six weeks into the summer of 2013 in Canada and it is time to assess the season to date.

Since astronomical summer began on 21 June, temperatures and precipitation have been generally above normal across the country except for the West Coast where it has been dry and the Prairies where it has been cooler than normal.

Here is a list of major cities across the country and how they compare to normal:

Moncton, NB……+2.1°C above normal temperature and 145% of normal rainfall

Saint John, NB…..+1.9 and 180%

Halifax, NS…….+2.4 and 141%

Charlottetown, PEI…..+1.0 and 91%

St. John’s, NL…..+1.5 and 118%

Montreal, QC…..+2.0 and 122%

Ottawa, ON…..+1.0 and 118%

Toronto, ON…….+2.3 and 284%

Winnipeg, MB……+0.4 and 112%

Regina, SK…..-0.1 and 43%

Edmonton, AB…..-0.1 and 103%

Calgary, AB……+0.5 and 76%

Vancouver, BC…..+1.5 and 71%

Whitehorse, YT…..+2.2 and 162%

Yellowknife, NT…..+1.9 and 42%

(Data courtesy Accuweather.com)

Tornado threat in Alberta

Eerie clouds over Edmonton, AB, 12 June 2013 (Courtesy Virgin Radio Edmonton)

Eerie clouds over Edmonton, AB, 12 June 2013 (Courtesy Virgin Radio Edmonton)

Severe weather has developed across much of central Alberta today including the Edmonton region.

Environment Canada says thunderstorms have the potential to produce a tornado.

Large hail, heavy rain, and strong wind gusts continue to be a threat in these thunderstorms.

As much as 20 to 30 mm of rain is expected by tomorrow with local accumulations of 50 mm in thunderstorms.

Cold spring on the Prairies

About 25 cm snow fell in Dauphin, MB, 01 May 2013 (CTV)

About 25 cm snow fell in Dauphin, MB, 01 May 2013 (CTV)

Parts of Manitoba received more than 40 cm of snow today during a spring which has yet to really arrive across the Prairies.

As much as 20 cm of snow fell in neighbouring Saskatchewan yesterday which forced some roads to close down.

Most of the major Prairie cities had big drops in their April average temperatures including:

Regina 6.3°C below normal

Edmonton 4.7°C below normal

Winnipeg 4.5°C below normal

Calgary 3.0°C below normal

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Whiteout creates highway pileup in Alberta

Highway pileup near Leduc, AB, 21 March 2013 (AP)

Highway pileup near Leduc, AB, 21 March 2013 (AP)

The main highway linking Edmonton and Calgary was shutdown yesterday after a blizzard created whiteout conditions leading to multiple vehicle crashes.

RCMP say more than 300 vehicles were involved and about 100 had to be hospitalized following the pileup on Highway 2 near Leduc, which is just south of Edmonton.

Countless others were trapped in their vehicles for hours as emergency workers went from vehicle to vehicle checking on passengers.